5. This has all been pretty negative so far I know (it gets worse), but here is a positive ray of light so bright and blinding that it is like looking into the face of Jason Castro: During one group's performance the cameras cut backstage to where their families were watching, and one lady, one very mom-type lady wearing a sweater and balloon jeans (there is no other way to describe these jeans) and pointy cowboy boots, was doing the most amazing dance. It was this thing where she leaned back and kicked her legs out on her heels. It's hard to describe, so if someone can get me video or a gif of this I will be eternally grateful to you, but basically it looked sort of like the way the pimp walks in Homer's wonderful New York memory on The Simpsons. It was this really great, festive, dance-like-nobody's-watching mom dance and I could have watched two hours of it. They need to have her be a backup dancer for the whole season. Just be-bopping in the background for all the performances, slowing it down but still very much doing it for the ballads. It will really be that "added value" that every Mary-Margaret Marketing and Annie Adsales is always talking about. Just a really special dance. Dance on, mom! Please dance on forever. Kick, heel, back. Kick, heel, back. Oh, it was so great.
6. The Cute Boy Brigade is all through, not just the group round but also through the Rooms of Doom. The Brigade consists of Phillip Phillips, the dark angel that is Colton Dixon, and of course Johnny Keyser aka Johnny Sandwiches. The rest of Johnny Sandwiches' group was sent home, but of course he was going through. And you could tell he knew it. In fact, this guy has kind of gone beyond cocky and turned into something else, hasn't he? Here we all were thinking that Colton was the only dark force of evil this season, but no! Johnny Sandwiches is, I think, some sort of bad creature from a bad place. There's something in those too-chiseled vampire looks, those beady black eyes that glimmer with an acid knowledge that suggests that he will do great but wicked things this season. And he's got J.Lopes in his nefarious thrall. She is drawn to him like a moth straight into a flame. I worry for her. I worry for everyone. But yeah, well done, Cute Boy Brigade. And Phillip? Watch your back. There be demons around you. (If you don't want to watch your back I'll do it for you.)
7. Back to Reed Grim, I'm afraid to say. After the group eliminations, everyone got a chance to do a minute-long performance in front of the judges and lots of people did well (some 16-year-old girl wailed on "What a Wonderful World," some guy sang that dopey "Ice inside your soul/Jar of hearts" song but at least sang it well, Colton didn't sound that great, but he sounded good enough), so that was pleasing to watch. But Reed, oh Reed Grim. He was planning on singing a cappella, but then! Somehow! At the last moment! The producers informed him that he couldn't sing a cappella, so oh no! He needed to figure out what to sing with the band! This all felt very manufactured, especially considering there was a vocal coach and the band director on hand to help him and the cameras followed him and it was a whole big lotta drama for a guy that, I guess, they're banking pretty hard on. The whole thing was very stagey and irksome, though it was great to watch the vocal coach (who, a friend informed me, is Katharine McPhee's mother — how's that for odd synergy?) continuously slap Reed into focus whenever he tried to go on some digression to the cameras. Stop showboatin', son! Just sing. So after this non-nailbiter nailbiter, Reed went up there and played drums while singing (how Bieber of him) and everyone hooted and hollered, but not me. Oh no siree bob. I am onto this shtick. This is all nonsense. Reed Grim is being forced upon us like cod liver oil and I don't like it. Who's with me on this? Who's comin' with me on this one??? No more Reed Grim! No Grimmo in 2012! Damn the man, save the empire! I mean, save Phillip Phillips! Together we can do it.